Man Killed In Tribeca Crane Collapse Called ‘Most Special Person Ever’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The man who was killed when a crane collapsed to the ground in Tribeca was a Harvard University graduate who immigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe.

David Wichs, 38, of the Upper West Side, was killed when the massive crane collapsed happened just before 8:30 a.m. on Worth Street near Church Street.

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Wichs was killed instantly as he walked along Worth Street.

Wichs was born in Prague and came to the U.S. as a teenager. He went on to earn a degree at Harvard, CBS2 reported.

He was a mathematical whiz who worked at a computerized trading firm, his family said.

David Wichs Tribeca Crane Collapse

David Wichs was killed when a crane collapsed in Tribeca on Feb. 5, 2016 (Credit: Facebook/CBS2)

He was described by his family as “the most special person ever.”

“He really created a life for himself. He literally took every opportunity he could find,” his sister-in-law, Lisa Guttman, said through tears.

Two people were hospitalized – neither with life-threatening injuries.

Dawn Kojima, 45, was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital after the accident.

She was on her way to work on Worth Street Friday morning just getting a cup of coffee when the crane suddenly came crashing down, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported. She needed nine staples in her head to close a gash, and she was also left with a severely bruised leg, but she was expected to recover.

Meanwhile, Thomas O’Brien, 73, was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center with a head laceration. O’Brien, of Easton, Massachusetts, was in New York visiting his daughter who lives in the city.

O’Brien and Kojima’s conditions were described as “stable,” police said.

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The FDNY said the third person — a firefighter — suffered a minor injury during the rescue and is expected to recover.

“This is a very, very sad incident. We’ve lost a life,” de Blasio said. “It was something of a miracle that there wasn’t more impact and thank God that the impact on people wasn’t worse.”

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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